Essay and Pastels by Claire Blatchford

I’m an avid walker and hiker and love the sweet and reassuring familiarity of old pathways and the lure and promise of new, unexplored ones. This winter when the wind was knife-sharp and the earth was snowy and icy, too icy for a brisk stroll or an easy saunter, I turned instead to pastels. I used my fingers, rather than my feet, to retrace some old pathways and try out some new ones. Come along... let me show you where I went...

I headed towards the morning sun, all bundled up.

Then recalled a hike in the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina.

Next a cousin sent a Christmas letter from California with a gorgeous photo, so I went into it.

The light and shadows of California took me, in turn, down a straight golden-white road lined with tall trees.

Next I went to a beloved spot, clad in autumn colors, on the Franconia Ridge Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Back in my imagination, I chambered up a stone stairway.

 Then, as the days began to lengthen, out into the sun along a poppy path.

Art shows me again and again how our beautiful earth is not only beneath, above and about us— it is within us!

Views from the Lorian Community publishes essays from a team of volunteer writers expressing individual experiences of a long term, committed practice of Incarnational Spirituality (and the general principles shaping such a practice.) Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. If you would like to subscribe, please visit our website and click on Follow Our Blog Via Email. Or email the